Big Ideas Bright LightsPeople Showing the Way
Every Thing Changes Constantly
Every thing changes constantly. Yes Every Thing! Over in dictionary.com the definition of “thing” starts with “an inanimate object” and then “some entity, object, or creature”. We can also add “an object of thought,” “matters,” “a fact,” and “an action.” In fact you can make your head hurt trying to figure out what’s not a “thing.” In modern physics when they look inside the smallest things like an atom apparently there’s a lot of space.
Change means moving from one state to another. Light to darkness. Raining to sunny. Off to on. Breathing in to breathing out. Very happy to pissed off. Healthy to in pain. And back again the other way. All of the 37 trillion! cells in our bodies die and are replaced every six weeks or so.
One of our big challenges as human beings is accepting that everything, including us and everyone connected to us and everything around us is changing constantly. The biggest single change people focus on is going from living to dying. So you could say that the highest achievement of accepting that everything changes constantly is the acceptance of your own death as an important part of your living a full life. Many people learn a lot from their close encounters with death. Our consideration of How Healing and Growth Happens draws extensively from documented cases of spontaneous remission from cancer.
You Are More Than You Think
Another mind bender! By definition something you need to discover for yourself. And we’re here to help. And who am I to say that I think I know who you think you are! This is one of those Big Ideas where there are many Bright Lights illuminating the way.
This question goes by many names. It’s central to our individual and collective view of the world we experience and share together. Discovering the answer is sometimes called the “Hero’s Journey” or the “Search for Meaning”.
The challenge of the assertion — that you may be more than what you think you are — is raised here because those who have come before us indicate that the answer — the meaning we make of this idea — contributes significantly to your transformation from pain to being free of pain.
One of our favorite Bright Lights is Jon Kabat Zinn who created Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) back in 1979. One of the most frequent observations people shared after completing the MBSR program was “they were not their pain.” What a marvelous discovery!
Human beings have been on the planet for approximately 10,000 years which by itself is barely a blink of an eye in the history of the earth as we understand it. The “civilized” world is a couple of thousand years old. This technology driven, always on, internet fueled world of smart phones, video games and social networks we live in today is barely 30 years old. We are over stimulated and overwhelmed with our thoughts and feelings.
So when I suggest that you are more than you think you are — one way to test that is to stop thinking — and see what’s there? That’s the path of personal discovery. We can simplify the whole thing into one choice. You are either a) totally your thoughts (and feelings) or b) you are totally the space between your thoughts. You’d have to find that space between your thoughts to make a fair assessment. That’s a tall order but by all accounts a path worth pursuing. Perhaps it’s not either/or but both/and. You are not either your thoughts or the space between them — but both your thoughts and the awareness within which they arise! What mystery!
Bright Lights are people and organizations who in our opinion exemplify a creative expression that embraces these big ideas. Whether through science, philosophy, music, eastern medicine or energy medicine all these bright lights help the rest of us find our way home to wholeness and peace.
The Bravewell Collaborative is a community of leading philanthropists who work together to transform our health care system and improve the health of the American public through the advancement of integrative medicine.